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CNET News.com: Sun looks toward a new dawn in thin clients

Sep 08, 1999, 04:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sandeep Junnarkar, Stephen Shankland)

"Tomorrow, Sun will unveil the Sun Ray, a desktop computer unit designed to encourage companies to abandon traditional PCs in favor of cheap, simple 'thin clients' that shove most of the heavy lifting to centralized server computers. ... Sun's first thin client computer, the JavaStation, flopped quite publicly two years ago, hampered by dropping PC prices, numerous product delays, and slow Java performance, the programming language used by the computer."

"Sun believes things will be different this time with its new thin client, code-named Corona. For one thing, with the acquisition of Star Division, Sun now has an office software suite that runs on central servers and that can be accessed by desktop users. In another new twist, this time Sun will lease the device instead of sell it to customers. The Sun Ray appliance can be leased for $9.99 per month over five years..."

"The thin client market will get another shot in the arm tomorrow when IBM announces two new thin clients, one of which will be based on Intel chips--a first for Big Blue..."

"Sun's thin client is part of the company's new Hot Desk concept, which allows people to tie into applications on Sun servers or other back-end machines, including legacy mainframes or Windows NT machines. HotDesk also comes coupled with a smart card system for remote computing. By plugging a smart card into a Hot Desk-enabled machine on a network, a user's identity, work in progress, and computer desktop can essentially be transported from one machine to another."

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